Richard Whitmire writes about “last in, first out” policies for laying off teachers. Money line: “We haven’t heard any good defense from union officials of last-hired-first-fired — perhaps because there aren’t any.”
And the U.S. Department of Education wants to launch a DARPA-like entity. Good as far as it goes but worth remembering the extent to which i3 (and Race to the Top) showed the limitations of what Department of Education can do now absent some changes to current policy. In this paper we wrote for Brookings in 2008 Sara Mead and I look at DARPA and implications and cautions for education (pdf). This is a potentially powerful idea but not unless it’s set up to work.